JulieLeung.com: a life told in tidepools

pictures and stories from the water’s edge

JulieLeung.com: a life told in tidepools header image 2

Seasons of sushi

August 7th, 2003 · 1 Comment

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every delight under heaven…..

When we first moved to Cupertino, Ted and I met for weekly lunch dates at Ikenohana . We had always dreamed about having a date together for lunch each week – at a world-class sushi restaurant was more than we had imagined! – and with Ted’s new job, we now were able to pursue it, building romance with rituals. It was an exciting season in our lives, sweet and fun. I’d meet Ted at his office and we’d hold hands as we walked across the parking lot to the restaurant. Ikenohana was an elegant place to visit, with the aesthetic qualities expected: from the garden outside to the tables and chairs inside, to the food arranged on the plates. Ted fantasized about eating chef’s choice at the sushi bar but usually we ordered the bento box lunch specials. We had time to talk and share while enjoying the miso soup, salad and sushi. I remember the deep red of the tuna, yellow of egg, the bright color of salmon, whatever unusual that Ted would order. Looking over the food at each other’s eyes and seeing the sparkles of being so in love and so blessed. Our Ikenohana sushi dates symbolized both adventure and ritual, freedom and fun, appetite and love: California dreamin’ certainly.

Tonight we had sushi for dinner: homemade California roll that I put together on the kitchen countertop while the kids were watching. Now we live on an island near Seattle, a boat ride away, at least, from Ikenohana-quality sushi, and a world away from the life we once lived. With three kids we don’t have many dates alone, certainly not one each week for lunch. I had mostly forgotten about sushi – until my friend Angie brought some homemade rolls to a picnic. She encouraged me by her example, so I decided to try to make it. In California, I wasn’t motivated to try: why bother when we can go buy the real thing?! But this summer I thought I’d try. I needed a little adventure to add to life. It wasn’t as complicated as I thought – certainly not Ikenohana, with raw and colorful choices – but so far the egg, smoked salmon and crab meat with avocado have tasted well. The girls have figured out how to eat nori. Michaela likes the pickled ginger but not wasabi. Abigail likes soy sauce. Elisabeth was happy eating avocado and rice, asking “more” with her hands. We all talked together as a family, about Abigail’s last swimming lesson, our trip to a park for a picnic, Ted’s jury duty, while the sushi disappeared from the plate. Not Ikenohana, but not inedible either….so the memories of this new season begin…..

There is a time, a place, a season for everything, even sushi….

Tags: Uncategorized

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Katherine // Aug 10, 2003 at 8:22 pm

    What’s nori? Forgive my ignorance.

    We have enjoyed Ikenohana too. I think Jason ate teriyaki salmon there for the first time, served on a kids’ plate in the shape of a boat.